With the Samsung Unpacked event having finally spilled the beans, a new Galaxy Note 8 vs. iPhone 7 Plus war has begun. The new Samsung phablet will inevitably be required to compete with the Apple flagship, and now that we know all of the specs of the two devices, we can begin to make a reasonable comparison.
It is firstly interesting to compare the sizes of the two mobiles, as this is particularly illustrative of the design advantages that Samsung has built into the Galaxy Note 8. The Galaxy Note 8 measures 162 x 74.6 x 8.5mm, which is only marginally larger than the 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm dimensions of the iPhone 7 Plus. Quite clearly, the wraparound display of the Galaxy Note 8 deliver significant advantages.
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Despite having a screen that is nearly 20 percent larger than the iPhone 7 Plus, the Galaxy Note 8 also fares pretty well in the weight department. Weighing just 195g, the handset is only 7g heavier than the much smaller iPhone 7 Plus; around 4 percent in total.
There is no doubt that the display represents a key front in the Galaxy Note 8 vs. iPhone 7 Plus war. And the wraparound display included in the Galaxy Note 8, migrated from the Galaxy S8, is naturally far larger than the more conventional offering of the iPhone 7 Plus. The screen in the new Samsung phablet measures 6.3-inches; nearly 20 percent bigger than the 5.5-inch display in the now 12-month old iPhone 7 Plus.
Another aspect of the Galaxy Note 8 vs. iPhone 7 Plus battle of particular importance is the screen resolution included in the two devices. Samsung stopped short of delivering 4K resolution with the Galaxy Note 8, but it did provide a Quad HD+ screen that is significantly more detailed than the iPhone 7 Plus. The 1,440 x 2.960 pixels (~521 ppi pixel density) that the Galaxy Note 8 is capable of displaying, significantly outranks the full HD 1,080 x 1,920 pixel resolution (~401 ppi pixel density) of the iPhone 7 Plus.
Samsung declined to reveal the precise processor specifications included in the Galaxy Note 8, but we do know that it will be driven by an octa-core Snapdragon 835. The quad-core 2.34 GHz (2x Hurricane + 2x Zephyr) included in the iPhone 7 Plus may appear slightly weedy by comparison, but the combination of proprietary software and hardware in the Apple range has always delivered decent performance.
There is double the memory quantity included in the Galaxy Note 8 in comparison with the iPhone 7 Plus, with Samsung choosing to arm the smartphone with 6GB of internal ram. By comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus was provided with 3GB when it was released last year.
Storage options are a slightly contentious area with the Galaxy Note 8, as internationally there will be new 128 and 256GB versions made available. However, the 128 and 256GB models will not be made available in the United States initially, meaning that US Galaxy Note 8 consumers will be reliant on micro SD once more.
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus delivers 32, 128 and 256GB models, providing lots of native storage choice.
After the battery travails that Samsung enjoyed in 2016, there was always likely to be a relatively conservative approach to the cell this time round. And the Korean corporation has indeed been slightly cautious with the battery included in the Galaxy Note 8, delivering a 3,300 mAh unit intended to be particularly stable.
This is still larger than the 2,900 mAh cell included in the iPhone 7 Plus last year, but Apple could potentially exceed the battery specifications of the Galaxy Note 8 when the OLED iPhone 8 launches later this year.
Galaxy Note 8 vs. iPhone 7 Plus specs sheet
Camera technology has become increasingly important in the mobile niche, and thus will represent particular significance in the Galaxy Note 8 vs. iPhone 7 Plus battle. Firstly, let’s list the specifications of the snappers included in the two devices.
Galaxy Note 8 – dual 12-megapixels f/1.7 wide angle; 12MP f/2.4 telephoto (2x zoom)
iPhone 7 Plus – dual 12-megapixels, (28mm, f/1.8, OIS & 56mm, f/2.8)
Samsung has included some nifty new features in the Galaxy Note 8, which should see the smartphone exceed the capabilities of the iPhone 7 Plus. There has been a particular focus on the low-light shooting ability of the Galaxy Note 8, and this should be reflected in some excellent photography in darker light.
Nonetheless, it should be said in mitigation that the camera in the iPhone 7 Plus is pretty decent, particularly with its dual-lens facility delivered at an affordable price point.
Finally, pricing will obviously be extremely important in the next-generation phablet battle, and the iPhone 7 Plus certainly looks like a value for money device at present. Samsung declined to release the precise price of the Galaxy Note 8 in the United States, but it is thought based on available data that it will retail at around $949.
This is significantly more than the iPhone 7 Plus, with the entry-level version of the flagship Apple phablet currently available for $679 on Amazon.com. Certainly this can be considered something of a bargain in the existing smartphone climate.
The Galaxy Note 8 vs. iPhone 7 Plus comparison is quite intriguing, as the Samsung device certainly looks like a next generation handset. It outperforms and outranks the Apple iPhone 7 Plus in nearly every department, attempting to fill every single hole of criticism that could be levelled at the previous generation.
The Note 8 is a smartphone performer that is clearly superior to the Apple device, although the considerably smaller price tag of the iPhone 7 Plus will doubtless attract a few consumers ahead of the release of the Next Generation OLED iPhone 8. But the Galaxy Note 8 has definitely put the ball firmly in Apple’s court.